Robust cottontail

Robust cottontail
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Lagomorpha
Family: Leporidae
Genus: Sylvilagus
Species: S. robustus
Binomial name
Sylvilagus robustus
(Bailey, 1905)
Robust cottontail range

The robust cottontail or Davis Mountains cottontail (Sylvilagus robustus) is a species of cottontail rabbit endemic to four mountain ranges in the southwestern United States and adjacent Mexico.[2] It was long considered to be a subspecies of the eastern cottontail (S. floridanus), but has recently been promoted to species level due to morphological analysis.[3] Genetic data have confirmed the uniqueness of S. robustus.[4] S. robustus and the subspecies of S. floridanus are distinguished primarily by size, dental, and cranial differences. These rabbits typically average a total length of 42 cm, and weigh between 1.3 and 1.8 kg.[5] This species is restricted to dry, brushy, mountains at elevations above 1500 meters.[5] Despite its rarity, currently no governmental agency provides protection or listing for this species.[1]


Historically, this species was known to be endemic to four mountain ranges. In Texas it was known in the Guadalupe Mountains, Davis Mountains and Chisos Mountains. In New Mexico it was known from the Guadalupe Mountains. And in Coahuila, Mexico it is known from the Sierra de la Madera. The Chisos and Guadalupe Mountains populations are believed to be extirpated.[1]


  1. 1 2 3 Ruedas, L. & Smith, A.T. (2009). "Sylvilagus robustus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2009.1. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 2009-08-20. Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is endangered
  2. Hoffman, R.S.; Smith, A.T. (2005). "Order Lagomorpha". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M. Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 211. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.
  3. Ruedas, Luis A. (1998). "Systematics of Sylvilagus Gray, 1867 (Lagomorpha: Leporidae) from Southwestern North America". Journal of Mammalogy. 79 (4): 1355–1378. doi:10.2307/1383027. JSTOR 1383027.
  4. Lee, DE; Pfau RS; Ammerman LK (2010). "Taxonomic status of the Davis Mountains Cottontail, Sylvilagus robustus, revealed by amplified fragment length polymorphism". Journal of Mammalogy. 91: 1473–1483. doi:10.1644/09-mamm-a-382.1.
  5. 1 2 The mammals of Texas: 2nd edition By David J. Schmidly, William B. Davis. 2004. pp. 466-467. University of Texas Press.
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